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Root Beer Spare Ribs - new favorite. Bucket list smoke?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Ok.  Had to share this, or so my neighbor told me. 


Spare ribs. Modified 3/2/1 method.  Ended up being 3/2.5/.3 ... but still PERFECT texture, etc. 100% fresh Pecan wood, by the way.


Been hearing about this recipe - made them 3 weeks ago to rave reviews but wanted to try them again with this (modified) smoker of mine (see other thread).  Can't recommend this recipe enough ..... hope the pics do it justice. Young, old, expert or novice seem to rave over them. They are absolute killers.


Here's the recipe I used - a little different as you will see. Trust me on the variations from the standards  ... it is special.



  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 tbls Allspice (variation)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 shots of your favorite bourbon (variation)
  • 7 cups Apple Juice
  • 3 cups water


Marinate for at least 24 hours, preferably 36-48. Yes, the ribs will be fold up tender at that point.


Dry and refrigerate ribs for 4 hours in frig to allow marinade to make a bit of a crust on the ribs.. This is very important.


DO NOT DISCARD MARINADE:  Boil down for 3-4 hrs very low, and then soak Squash  and Zuccini in it and grill for 20 minutes @ 400 degrees.  No need to salt, but a little pepper works.  Unbelievably tasty. You will end up with this incredibility sweet/salty mix that the veggies soak up like sunshine.  VERY tasty once cooked.


Rub:  Since the sauce is sweet, mix a rub with a slight bite. For the amount of ribs I cooked (12 lbs) I doubled this mix.


3 tablespoons firmly-packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning (variation)

1/2 teaspoon of T- Dust (don't forget it - makes all the difference) (variation)


Brush ribs (both sides) with canola oil, let sit for 5 minutes, and then sprinkle rub on one side. Let sit for 10 minutes, flip, do same for other, and then lightly sprinkle top of ribs again before smoking. Be sure they sit for 15 minutes after rub is applied.


Root Beer Sauce/Glaze (this shit is GOOD!).


2 tbsl Canola

One onion, sautéed until soft and brown

1 tsp Spanish paprika

1 TBSL minced garlic

2 TBSL Ginger

1 Tsp Summer Savory

2 cups of root beer (be sure it is GOOD root beer - you need to flavor)

2 cups catsup, or, 1/4 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

2 TBSL of vanilla.

1 shot favorite Bourbon


The root beer and vanilla turn the sauce into a Shasta Soda. On the ribs, with some smoke, it is frickin' delicious.


Low boil for 20 minutes until to desired consistency - glaze should be applied 3 times, in light coats.


Below are pics and what you end up with. I know I am a newbie, but I gotta tell ya, this shit is something to a newbie ....





Spare ribs out of package, trimmed, etc. (12 lbs)



Set in marinade- turned and massaged every 3-4 hours for 36 hours



After marinade; Rack split so it would fit on my grill racks (max of 16")


After oil bath and rub (dual side) - don't forget the T-Dust in your rub!!



And ... the door is closing



After 3 hour mark at about 230 degrees with Pecan wood the whole way.



Ready to foil up!! Topped with butter and A/J before covering





Foiled up.



After 1/5 hours in foil .... check out the Aus Jus!!




1st Glaze @ 400




2nd Glaze @ 400




Final Glaze @ 400




After 20 minutes @ 400




Surprised at the smoke ring on the first cut .... love that fresh Pecan wood!!



Bone literally slipped out of her like a, uh, er, um .... like it should, I guess. :-)









We had  fun with this one ..... the Bourbon and Vanilla makes all the difference.


P.S. If you marinate less than 24 hours, you may well be disappointed in my opinion.


Let me what you think 'cause the learning process continues!



post #2 of 3
Looks great,sounds interesting!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi B-one.  Anybody I know that has cooked them once has said they will never cook ribs differently again - spare, country or baby back. If you ever try them, will be interested in your opinion as well.



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